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Thursday, August 25, 2011

EARTHQUAKE!!!! OR EARTHQUAKE!!!! OR EARTHQUAKE!!!! OR I Feel the Earth Move Under My Feet! OR How I Stole a Title From a Carole King Song From the 70s!

I was at the pool enjoying conversation with mommy friends.  The concrete beneath our feet began to shake.  Initially I thought it was a big truck nearby because we could hear the noise.  Then it dawned on me that, 'Hey, this is a very big truck.'  My mommy friend, Marla, said something like, "Is that...?" (I'm a little fuzzy on the conversation because I was freaking out.)  Then I said something like, "I don't know but I'm freaking out."  (And I was freaking out.)  Then I looked up and everyone in the pool area has pretty much the same kind of 'duh' expression on their faces.  (Everyone was pretty much freaking out.)  Then we broke into a flash mob music edition of 'Freak the Freak Out.'  (Okay, that was just me and not really, only in my head.  And only in my head, hours later.)
So, children, any questions about earthquakes?
There will be a quiz later.
Then I texted HIM, the man to whom I'm married, who was in the city.  Wowzers.  (Okay, my daughter forced me to watch the movie, Inspector Gadget, the other day.  I like Matthew Broderick, but come on.)  The cell towers were jammed and nobody was getting through.  Everyone had their cells out and were tapping away.  My other mommy friend, Tara, managed to get in a Facebook status.  Man, she's good and quick with her smart phone.  (Everyone was trying to text when they should have just gotten on Facebook and posted.)
This is an actual movie from the 70s.
It was a period of time where everyone was
obsessed with destruction and annihilation.
Kind of like the Obama administration.  (BURN!)
Irwin Allen didn't produce this one, but he should
have.  (As per a later Irwin Allen reference
in this blog.) (Now I feel compelled to explain
that Irwin Allen was a movie producer who
specialized in big 'DISASTER' movies
like The Towering Inferno and The Poseidon
My daughter, Crescenia, was oblivious.  Hours later, she was like, "There was an earthquake?"  She tilted her head and said, "Really?"  (She's seven and the concept didn't do anything for her since she didn't directly experience it.  She was in the water at the pool and the biggest consequence to her was that the lifeguards freaked out and made everyone get out of the water.)  (Cressy didn't freak out.)

Later, I got a call from my sister who said our aunt was freaking out because the other aunt, who lives in Maryland, had fallen mid-earthquake and broken her ankle.  So later on Facebook, I asked my cousin, Karl, who is my Maryland Aunt's son, and who also lives in Maryland, "So your mom broke her ankle?"  Then he read it and called his mother.  Then she called me.  (That's what I get for listening to freaked out relatives.)

This is what I call a twisted grapevine.  It's like playing 'Telephone' and the message gets all garbled.  Then at the end, the last person says something like, "A purple nerd flew strategic jets into my underwear," and everyone laughs.  Except me.

Anyway, my warped brain concedes that we all need an earthquake readiness kit.

But then a hurricane is coming.  Apparently, Irene (that rotten, horrible bitch) is meandering up the coast and ruining the hell out of our impending beach vacation.  (The conversation between myself and the rental agent: "So, what's the news on the hurricane?"  Mary, the agent: "You know you don't have travel insurance."  Me:  "I know.  So what about-"  Mary: "And it's too late to get some now."  Me:  "I know that too.  If the house is still there are we allowed to-" Mary:  "Did you read your contract?"  And that was pretty much where my mind decided to give up the ghost.)  And we'll need to be prepared for that, too.

Let's see.  Earthquake.  Hurricane.  What's next?  Plague?  Pestilence?  Or as one of my old high school friends said, 'Weeping butt sores?'  You never know.  She could be right, you know.

My preparedness list:

-  2 bottles Whaler's Vanille Rum.  (Medicinal purposes only.  It's good for snakebites.  You ever hear what W.C. Fields said?  "Always carry a flagon of whiskey in case of snakebite and furthermore, always carry a small snake."  It's the same principle completely.)  Hell, make it five bottles.  There could be a lot of snakes.

-  Ingredients for the Ultimate Hangover Cure: 1 banana, 1 small can V-8, 6 large strawberries, 2 tablespoons honey, 1 cup orange juice, 1/2 cup milk (or powder), 1/4 teaspoon salt, a dash of nutmeg.  Mix thoroughly.  Use a blender with your generator's power.  Follow with 2 aspirins, 200 mg. of cysteine, 600 mg of vitamin c and 1 tablet of vitamin B-complex.  (This might be helpful if prepared in gallon form.  Don't worry about spoilage.  You'll use it quickly enough.)

-  A generator

-  A blender

-  The entire series of Sopranos DVDs

-  A DVD player

- One 16 oz jar of Boudreax's Butt-Paste (for those weeping butt sores.)

And I feel obligated to interject an earthquake joke.  What do you get from cows during an earthquake?  A milk shake.  (Haha.  No, don't leave rude comments.  I couldn't help myself.  It's the only earthquake related joke I know and I really couldn't help myself.)

So the USGS (U.S. Geological Survey) sez we should go to FEMA's website for earthquake preparedness.  There I see that FEMA is now a part of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.  (I think keeping our collective asses safe from earthquakes should be a part of Homeland Security.)  (What the heck does FEMA stand for?)  (It took me awhile but I drudged through their website and found it.  Federal Emergency Management Agency or, as people in Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and Florida call them, the asshats who didn't help out after Katrina.)

Anyhoo, before an earthquake, we should make sure all our 'i's are dotted and our 't's are crossed.  We should be Boy Scouts in every sense of the motto.  If a shelf hasn't been securely fixed to a wall, then by God, we have failed in our god-given FEMA right to be prepared.  Get that drill, soldier, and grab those screws and just attach everything that is not previously attached to every wall available.  No, I don't mean the dog or your husband, although they may need it.  Then we should check our home for hazards.

There shouldn't be any mirrors or pictures or anything else hanging above where people are sitting.  (Well, I'm hosed on that one.)  We should brace overhead electronics.  (Brace it with what?  I should attach pieces of 2X4's to my ceiling fans?  I would think that would fall under the things hanging above where people are sitting rule.)

We should repair defective electrical and gas attachments.  (If I knew the gas or electricity was broken I think I would have already fixed it.  "Gee honey, I smell gas."  "It's not me, I swear."  "No, silly, it smells like a natural gas leak."  "I have natural gas."  "I mean the kind for the oven and the water heater."  "Oh, that.  It's been leaking for months.  We're all sleeping better.  We should just ignore it."  "Oh, gleeful noises.")

We should repair deep cracks in the ceilings or the foundations.  (Doesn't this come after the earthquake?  I don't know about your house but apparently I'm crack free.  Hahaha.  That's funny.  Don't lie.  You laughed.)

We should identify safe places outside.  (This is easy.  A safe place from an earthquake is anyplace where they're not having one.)  And oh yes, FEMA calls earthquakes, EQ's.  So you're in the know.  When those FEMA officials start snapping out pertinent info about recent EQ's, you don't turn to the person next to you and say stupidly, "Dude, what's an EQ?"

Now for the during part.  What to do during an EQ!  (See, you, the really savvy one, you got the EQ part right away, didn't you?)

Most importantly.  Drop, cover, and hold on.  (I'm serious.  This is what FEMA says to do.)  It's like in the sixties when they were prepping school kids for the big Soviet nuke-a-thon coming our direction.  They had tens of thousand of school kids freaking out at the thought that the big bad Soviets would launch their nukes before we had a chance to launch our nukes at them and secure capitalism for the masses.  So back to the EQ.  Drop, cover, and hold on.  (Don't hide under the crappy card table.  It will not protect you.)

Don't use the elevators.  (If you've seen any Irwin Allen movie you'll know that you're instantly screwed if you get into an elevator.  It's like being the couple having sex in the opening twenty minutes of any horror movie.  You're gonna die.)

If you're outdoors, don't stand under the big, granite gargoyle on the side of the building.  Well, it might fall on your head.  (You're a dumbass if you stand under it during an EQ, so it would be a favor to the rest of us.)

If you're in a car and driving down the road.  You should stop.  Don't park under a bridge.  (See the gargoyle thing above.  Also see Darwin Awards.)

If you happen to be trapped under debris, don't light a match.  (I like this.  I don't carry matches but if I did, I don't think I would be thinking about lighting one while in the middle of an earthquake, crap, I mean EQ.  Why would you need to?  Would you be thinking, 'Gee, my legs are crushed, yet through all the tremendous shaking occurring I feel the need to have a minuscule light so that I may feel some hope.  Golly, I've got matches.'?)

Okay, enough of causticity.  (I used a made up word again.)  Hopefully everyone is safe and sound, except my aunt in Maryland, who may be the only person who was injured by the EQ.  Her ankle is severely sprained and yes, I got it from the horse's mouth.  (Not that my aunt is a horse.)

Next blog: How I Survived the Hurricane OR Making Hurricanes During a Hurricane OR The Hell With Coastal Advisories!
Note to self: Add ingredients listed here to
My Hurricane Preparedness List.


bonclyde149150 said...

You and your family stay safe! My family and I live on the southern coast of Maine and we're preparing for Irene to reach our area soon.

Carwoo said...

And to you, the same.

cubop1 said...

I guess I don't have to worry as I live in North Central New Mexico and we haven't had any earthq...uh, Is that a big truck going by the house or...

Stay safe, C. I know you still have a lot of books and blog entries to write.

Carwoo said...

Thanks, Rob. I think the biggest issue I have right now is what happens after earthquakes and hurricanes. (Lions and tigers and bears, oh, my!)

Anonymous said...

Curiously, a well written piece

Anonymous said...

Could be this blogs best blog to date.

Anonymous said...

Awesome read!!